Get Ready for Your 2014 Tax Filing

Posted on: December 31, 2014

If you’re new to the workforce or haven’t had to take care of your own tax filing until this year, you might be getting anxious right now. Don’t panic! Take a look at our guide to tax time necessities and you’ll be set for this year—and know what to expect next time!

Don’t Shred These!

Hold on to the following papers. You’ll need them—or might need them—to do your taxes.

First off, you need these no matter what:

  • Your W-2(s)
  • Your social security number and the social security numbers of your spouse and any dependents you plan to claim (along with their dates of birth)

Other items you may need depending what went on for you during the past year:

If you own rental property:

  • Records of income or expenses associated with the property

If you are self-employed or do paid freelance work:

  • 1099 forms from any clients who paid you more than $600. Note: If you were paid less than $600 for any services, you must still report that, so it’s very important to keep good records of your income.
  • All receipts for business expenses you want to claim.

Learn more about freelancer taxes.

If you pay for child care:

Missing Some Tax Documents?

If you find that you’re missing any necessary documents, don’t despair. You can get copies in most cases.

Here’s what to do if you’re missing any of the following documents:

  • W-2: Ask your employer for another one. They are required to keep copies, but may charge you a small fee for the trouble.
  • 1099 Forms: Depending on which 1099 you are missing, you should be able to get additional copies from your bank or brokerage website. And if you are a freelancer, be sure to keep accurate records of your income. If any of your clients don’t provide you with a 1099-MISC (as they are required by law to do), you must still report that income.

Learn more about what you can do when you are missing tax forms.

What You Must Report On Your Taxes

Keep excellent records of all of the following—you are required by law to report all of it!

Income from:

  • Employers and/or your clients if you are self-employed
  • Investments
  • Gambling, prizes, or awards
  • Rental properties you own
  • IRAs, pensions, or annuities
  • Foreign earnings

Any money you earned from:

  • Alimony
  • Royalties
  • Social Security benefits
  • State tax refunds
  • Unemployment benefits

Learn more about what the IRS considers taxable income.

Taxes: Record-Keeping and Document Destruction

How long you should keep tax documentation and records depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the requirements and recommendations.

And when you’re ready to clear out and need to shred, come to a TrueShred DC-area community shred event!

Please note: This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax consulting or legal advice. We recommend you consult your tax professional or the IRS with any questions you have. 

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